Potato Chips in Pot


Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.

I was perusing TikTok, as you do, and stumbled across people making passable mashed potatoes out of potato chips. You just add water, break down the potato chips with a spoon, add a little cream or milk, and then you have it! 

Is it probably unhealthy? Sure! Is it a weird use of potato chips? Stop questioning everything, okay? It seemed like a good idea, and I have a lot of those one-ounce packets of potato chips for my kids' lunches, so I did it. And it did not go as planned.

I will allow that using barbecue potato chips wasn't the best idea for my first (and probably only) time making this, but that's what I had, and it didn't seem problematic. The finished product would have a smoky, saucy flavor, just like the chips, right? No, no it did not. 

Potato Chips in Measuring CupPhoto credit: Liane Starr / Cheapism

While I was reassured in several videos that the potato chips, once wet, would break down in a few minutes, a few apparently meant twenty or maybe people are using really old, soft potato chips. But whatever, I love standing over the stove watching mush form. 

Anyway, once it was less chippy, I added whole milk (some recipes advocate half-and-half, but I didn't have any). I also skipped adding mustard, as one TikToker recommended, or salt, because hey, I used barbecue chips. I didn't want to fight what was sure to be a flavor punch, did I?

Mashed Potato Chips v.2Photo credit: Liane Starr / Cheapism

The result, despite being bright orange, was not a flavor punch. It wasn't even a flavor tickle. It was instead bland, technicolor goop that barely tasted of potato, much less barbecue. I am very comfortable admitting I may have missed some of the must-do parts of the recipes, but honestly, no amount of salt or mustard could have saved this gruel. I wasn't alone in this, by the way. 

Because my family knows they are required to taste test whatever weird thing Mom made (or run away from me very, very quickly), I got feedback from two of my three testers (one child actually did run away very, very quickly). While the remaining child said the result was "decent," not knowing exactly what it was (she was probably just glad it wasn't my usual cooking). But my husband said the stuff "tasted like the scalloped potatoes from my elementary school cafeteria" and was "yuck." 

In short, though some people had good results, or what looked like good results, on TikTok, if the resulting mush appealed to them, I have no words beyond, "Eww, really?" 

Want more taste tests delivered to your inbox? Sign up for our free newsletters.

Cheapism in the News